INTRODUCTION The thesis ofname: “Looking through Translation: The Importation of Chick Lit in Turkey viaTranslations and/or Rewritings” (Canseven, 2016, iv)Written by: Cansu Canseven inBo?aziçi University in 2015Approved by: Assist. Prof.
Dr.Arzu Akbatur (thesis supervisor), Prof. Dr. Özlem Berk Albachten, Assit.
Prof. Dr. O?uz Baykara, Asst. Prof. Dr.Martin Cyr Hicks, and Assit.
Prof. Dr. Esra Birkan Baydan (ExternalMember) The reason for thereview of the thesis:One of the reasonsto examine this thesis is that the study is the first study written about toChick Lit on Turkey according to my research. In introductionpart, the writer has assessed where the chick-lit name comes from. Chick is anew genre in American slang used for young women, and Lit is a shortened formof literature. This new type of literature has begun to spread to otherlanguages as well as Turkey.
And also, chick lit has become popular in Turkishliterature system through the translation preserving its genre. In whatfollows, she has completed thesis by using these chapters/headings; Chapter 1:INTRODUCTIONChapter 2: THEORETICAL FRAMEWORKChapter 3: CHICKLIT AS A LITERARY GENREChapter 4: TARGETTEXTS: PRODUCTION AND PATRONS OF CHICK LIT IN TURKISHChapter 5:TRAJECTORY OF ‘Ç?K L?T’ IN THE TURKISH LITERATURY SYSTEMChapter 6: CONCLUSIONThese are theheadings of her thesis. And I am going to review especially to “chapter2”. She has examined extensively giving examples both source literatureand Turkish literature in chapter 2. And, some of the examples have beenstudied the framework of this thesis, including the polysystem theory of Even Zohar. Therefore, I will also share theseexamples by referring to the thesis and I will be trying to explain why thesesamples are important in the thesis according to polysystem theory. Now, first of all,I would like to share some important knowledge about Even Zohar and his polysystem theory.
This theory has been formedby Itamar Even Zohar with his article “The Position of Translated LiteratureWithin the Literary Polysystem”. Polysystem forms the basis of thetransition from classical linguistic approaches to descriptive approaches. Theaim of this theory is to determine the role of literature within society and tofunction in literature. That is to say, Even Zohar states that translation hasan important function in shaping national cultures and emphasizes thattranslation literature should be examined as a separate literary system. According to EvenZohar, “when new literary models are emerging, translation is likely to becomeone of the means of elaborating the new repertoire.”(Itamar,2000, 193) EvenZohar has begun to evaluate the theory of the polysystem in a new frameworkthat is called “culture repertoire”. In my opinion, the theory hasgained a new perspective in translation studies.
Because as you know,translators have been in cooperation with the society. Based on reciprocalinteraction and complementing each other the translators have assumed differentroles and tasks during the cooperation. According to Even Zohar, a culture hasnot occurred on its own, but society helps the formation of culture. There aretwo major conditions for the formation of the repertoire of culture. One ofthem is importing, another is exporting.
Both notions cannot be consideredapart from each other. Because they are related to each other. Even Zoharthought that production can take place through interaction with the othercultures.
Itamar Even Zohar has published in another 1987 article that it hasbeen determined that the dominant state of polysystem determines the choice ofworks is translated. According to Itamar Even Zohar, “The texts arechosen according to their compatibility with the new approaches and thesupposedly innovatory role they may assume within the target literature.” (2000,193) That is to say, the texts are translated that are selected according tothe new approaches and adjustment they will realize in the target literature.
Itamar Even Zohar says that “It seems to me that three major cases can bediscerned, which are basically various manifestations of the same law: (a)whena polysystem has not yet been crystallized, that is to say, when a literatureis “young” in the process of being established; (b) when a literatureis either “peripheral” (within a large group of correlatedliterature) or both; and (c) when there are turning points, crises, or literaryvacuums in a literature.” (2000,193) Apart from this, young literature is notable to occur texts suddenly in all types known to its producers, it benefitsfrom the background of other literature, and translated literature becomes oneof the significant systems. Apart from this, the texts that have beentranslated can take different positions within the literary sequence. ItamarEven Zohar also emphasize the notions of “peripheral” and”center”. I mean, some translated texts are in the “center”position while others are in the “peripheral” position. This alsoaffects the strategies and roles of translators. The notion of the”peripheral” and “center” have changed in a time. Forexample, in the Ottoman period, the French literature was much more translatedbecause translators were translated texts from French literature.
Therefore, weunderstand that French literature was seen as a center language in that times.However, when we have examined the current time we can realize that the Franceliterate which was the center of Ottoman times, now has left its place inEnglish. When we looked around, we can see a wide variety of English translatedbooks on bookseller. Therefore, readers and cultures changed the”peripheral” and “center” literature in times.